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#691119 - 11/28/04 01:02 PM digital : distractive or facilitative
saw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/04
Posts: 100
Loc: Florida
I am a new member. Adult beginner (about 2 years) working my way through Alfred series and also have a 7 year-old starting to play. I just sold my old Kreiter upright and am considering what to replace it with. Until I am more solvent financially and have a better idea of what I want in an acoustic, I am considering purchase of a relatively inexpensive digital. I have focused in on the Casio privia PX400R as a good all-around practice instrument. However, am also comparing it to a Yamaha P90, and possibly a Roland HP-2 or similar portable. I understand the basic differences, and don't want people to re-hash what's already been said. My summary from reading and trying out is that the Casio is a very functional performer with possible compromise in the area of sound quality and overall quality of the istrument; yamaha is known as the best in real piano feel, and roland is noted for sound quality. btw, have also found a used Roland KR-3 for around $2500 negotiable, but probably would like to stick with something portable. Any experience with these for my level, and as a facilitative guide to learning (see below). I am interested in really becoming much more of a player, including understanding theory; also interested in jazz, ragtime, as well as more traditional music.

Aside from requesting any observations regarding the above instruments, I also have a general question regarding digitals. It seems like with all the options available for digital pianos, that they have the potential to really facilitate the learning process. Yet when I go and look or read about them on the web, it is not at all clear that they fulfill this purpose (I imagine it depends on the student, to some extent). And there are so many levels of digital. Here's my basic question:

Are they really helpful for the learning process? If so, at what level of instrument sophistication (basic digital, stage piano, intelligent, etc.) It seems like lots of the functions on digitals are more for fun (not that I'm opposed to that) and might actually be a distraction to the learning of music (e.g., lighted keys on the Casios). But it also seems that digitals have the potential to catapult the student, facilitating a quantum leap to the next level. Any thoughts on this meandering question?

Thanks,

saw
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#691120 - 11/28/04 02:04 PM Re: digital : distractive or facilitative
saw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/04
Posts: 100
Loc: Florida
I'm going to piggyback on my own post here. I just talked with a salesperson regarding a sale they were having today, and was steered toward considering a roland or a Kawai ES-1 on a close-out. Regardless of brand, it was mentioned that brands like casio, and to a lesser extent yamaha, are marketed to be closer to being "disposable" instruments. Particularly casios, the implication that if it breaks, there's not much to do other than send it back to the manufacturer. Whereas, with Roland and Kawai, they are purportedly touted as being more true to the musical education process, and are much more serviceable over the long term. How much truth to this? Also, I understand that Kawai ES1 was awarded keyboard of the year in 2002. Are the Kawai digitals superior, or primarily personal preference? As previous, if I just need to go back and re-read previous posts, then just point me in the right direction. thanks,

saw
_________________________
Celebrate and enjoy the journey!

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#691121 - 11/28/04 02:44 PM Re: digital : distractive or facilitative
Lightnin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/04
Posts: 210
So this salesman only had Roland and Kawai to sell? Everyone knows about salesmen \:\) Whatever they have to sell is always the best, no contest.

I dont know how to respond to your question, but I bought a Yamaha P90 to learn and practice, and I think its absolutely super. Roland has a good name too, IMHO perhaps more so for synths, whereas Yamaha has a great name for piano sound. Both are very popular. I think you are going to have to go try more of them. Instead of a piano store, I'd suggest a store where "professional" keyboard equipment is sold, for example like Guitar Center.

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#691122 - 11/28/04 03:50 PM Re: digital : distractive or facilitative
fojae Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 60
With Casio you do have to ship it to one of two or three service centers and they probably keep it for a few weeks. In my area (Boston) there is a guy who does warranty service for Yamaha, and he comes to your house! Not sure if other areas have this.

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#691123 - 11/28/04 03:54 PM Re: digital : distractive or facilitative
fojae Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 60
I make good use playing back midi files on my p250. I download them for free on the internet. I find it very helpful to slow difficult parts way, way down to help figure out what is going on.

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#691124 - 11/28/04 07:06 PM Re: digital : distractive or facilitative
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
"Guitar Center" and "professional" in the same sentence? Sure you'll find lots of pro gear there. But don't expect any professional advice.
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PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#691125 - 11/28/04 08:26 PM Re: digital : distractive or facilitative
Lightnin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/04
Posts: 210
What I meant about Guitar Center, and others like it, is that you can get your hands on more different choices, the best choices, mainline choices. This is much less true at piano dealers IMO.

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#691126 - 11/28/04 08:55 PM Re: digital : distractive or facilitative
Kenpcola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/04
Posts: 86
Loc: Pensacola, FL
Ummmm...Guitar center has only one brand of home digital piano.. Yamaha. Some may have Casio portable digital too. You are lucky to find other brand like Williams(ever heard of it?).
Not a good place to shop digital piano.
For learning, I suggest a digital piano with song recorder function. It help you learning by giving second track backing and metronome function. For home use, 'home' style digital pianos(the one in cabinet style) are better choice. They often has pedals already, look like real piano and amplification is already included so sound output is not an issue. Stage digital pianos are designed for live performances in mind so they don't have any form of support(you need to buy keyboard stand) and often they don't have 3 pedals as like a real piano. Some don't even come with a pedal so you have to buy one or two and those pedals are moving around on the floor, etc.. Many stage digital do need amplification. You need to hook it up to your home stereo or seperate amplifier and speakers.

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#691127 - 11/29/04 04:39 PM Re: digital : distractive or facilitative
fojae Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 60
I think Guitar Center is actually a pretty good place to shop for a digital piano. As you say, it does have a few "home" pianos from yamaha which are pretty good. But it also has many stage-style pianos which are usually a better value for people who don't need the bigger speakers (or can use external powered speakers) and don't like the look and weight of the fake-piano case.

Another great thing about guitar center is that everything has a price tag with an already discounted price, no need to haggle down from sky-high manufacturer suggested retail prices with piano salesmen.

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